OSKALOOSA — Dalton Shaull returned to his hometown to speak to the community about his path toward success.
Shaull, a 2017 member of Forbes’ “30 under 30” list (along with fellow Oskaloosa native Matthew Rooda), was featured speaker for William Penn University’s Leaders Speak series on March 29.
Shaull founded HealthTech Solutions alongside co-founder, Eric Pahl and created an application, TXPChat, to streamline and the organ procurement process more efficient.
“I’ve had a couple of other passions and ventures and projects that failed miserably,” he said, “and we’ll talk about some of those and some of the things I’ve learned there as well.”
Football was Shaull’s life and primary focus until a motorcycle accident while he was a student at the University of Iowa. Shaull’s shoulder was injured due to the accident and ended up needing a nerve transplant.
The accident forced Shaull into an identity change, he said, as he wasn’t able to play football. He delved into an array of interests and pursuits, from art and entrepreneurship to fashion, cooking and research and real estate.
“So basically what you see here is a big list of distractions to try to keep myself busy,” he said. “I kind of had this hunger, if you will, to create something.”
Later, Shaull was working on a project trying to map out the brachial plexus – a network of nerves – brought a project idea to Pahl: Creating a better process for transplant organ procurement than the current system, which was basically text messaging.
Organ discard is a huge problem, Shaull said, one that is increasingly growing.
“We started looking into the problem a little bit more. 54 percent of all donated organs get wasted, which is a huge, huge number,” he said. “In fact, that’s around 45,000 organs that are getting discarded every single year.”
The United States is facing an organ shortage crisis, Shaull said, and the organ supply chain is broken. An organ is viable for four hours the minute it gets removed from a body to go into a patient.
“All of that right now is managed on phones and text messaging. There’s a lot of bottlenecks here. There’s waste throughout this entire supply chain. We focused on two bottlenecks,” he said. “We looked at what could be immediately solvable with technology concepts that we knew were out there. We’re not inventing some new technology that’s completely out of this world.”
TXPChat, Shaull said. Surgeons and organ procurement organizations have the information they need, in a timely, efficient manner.
“It’s more collaborative, it’s all secure, it’s all documented for audit purposes later,” he said. “And that’s what we’re doing on a high level, just streamlining all of that communication, authorization. Our goal is to increase offer throughput. If we can get them to offer more organs faster the probability of acceptance goes up, theoretically.”
There were three key thoughts Shaull wanted attendees to take with them, things he said he still struggles with. First, he said, don’t limit yourself by acting on validation and an image that is created from an outside source. Second, switch your perspective from past/future to present.
“It’s important to learn from your past, it’s important to have faith in the future, but I think if you’re too focused on those and not focused on right now, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities,” he said.
Third, commit yourself to the idea of limitless potential.
“And have that abundance mindset and then hold on. Because when you start to really have faith in that idea of abundance, of limitless abundance, you’d be surprised what enters your life,” he said. “And if you’re paying attention to the present and you’re making sure that you are constantly seeking for self-validation and self-image, you’ll be able to see them. And it’s a hell of a ride.”
Managing Editor Angie Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @OskyAngie.